Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Author blogs!

I don't know. You wait all year for an author event and then two come along in the same week. It helps having a new book out, I suppose. And I was signing and selling it at Cybermummy on Saturday and having a great time doing so.

Thanks to everyone who came along and had a chat, anyone who bought a book or took away a leaflet. And thanks especially to Sian for letting me do it and Lego Duplo for sponsoring me in the first place.

I didn't speak at Cybermummy, of course. Although I could have done. I could've stepped in at a moment's notice. I was well prepared. Because a couple of days earlier I'd been invited to give a talk about writing and blogging at a local primary school.

I always feel a tiny bit apprehensive when I arrive at a primary school. I'm fine with an enormous, swilling mass of sixteen, seventeen and eighteen-year-olds. It's what I'm used to, I suppose. But the little 'uns - well, they're anyone's most demanding audience. (After talking to the Wrangle Reporters last Thursday, Cybermumy would have held no terrors, that's for sure.)

Without exception the children were courteous, polite and - above all - enthusiastic. I had a great time and - I hope - so did they. We did a stats analysis of their school blog and they were amazed by the global reach they were getting. We talked about books and writing and I listened to the stories they had written. Then we went to their school library and I gave them a couple of copies of my primary geography books, Discovering the UK and Discovering India.

I love that primary-age enthusiasm for everything, before the hormones kick in, before the industrial regimentation of secondary schooling. I usually leave wishing I'd trained to be a primary school teacher myself. In fact, I nearly did. I approached the Director of Studies of my PGCE course about transferring, but he was having none of it and told me I was 'built' to be a secondary school teacher.

I never was quite sure what he meant by that. I assume it has something to do with my height, which was certainly a talking point again on Saturday. Although this year - not only was I not the only daddy among the cybermummies - I wasn't the tallest person there, either. That honour goes to Alex 'Daddacool'... And he's welcome to it. Having been almost bent double first by the overcrowding on the busiest Northern Line train ever on Saturday evening, then by having to trail my wheely-suitcase (the one full of the unsold books!) round London on the second-hottest day of the year I can confidently say there are times when rural pleasures - and being a mere 6' 3" - are a distinct advantage.

But I digress. If you've got a spare blogging moment, take a look at some of the bloggers of the future. Get in quick while they're young and encourage some of that innocent enthusiasm for blogging.

Who knows - one of them might even be giving the keynote address at Cybermummy in a few years time!

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